striped lawn next to hardscaped steps

The Fight Against Crabgrass: You CAN Win!

Every year we receive dozens of calls for help eradicating crabgrass. The problem is that by the time you see crabgrass, you’re already well behind in the battle. You can win the fight, though, with some thoughtful planning and action.

Today we’ll take a look at why crabgrass appears in your lawn, and offer a few suggestions on how you can control it.

Why does crabgrass appear in my lawn?

One of the most common weed problems in lawns here in Pennsylvania, crabgrass releases seeds each summer and then emerges the next spring. Crabgrass seeds are particularly tenacious, as the amount of seed produced is extremely high, and they can stay dormant in the soil for several years before germinating.

grass seed coming up
Get those lawns nice and thick to help fight against crabgrass

Crabgrass prefers hot, dry weather, so it has the upper hand against your turf as the summer heat rolls in. Areas where your lawn has failed to grow or is weakened are prime locations for crabgrass to take over, as the sun is able to heat the soil that’s unprotected by the natural turf shade. The means that your best defense against weeds like crabgrass is a healthy lawn.

How can I prevent crabgrass?

Treatments for crabgrass are highly effective. To prevent crabgrass, you’ll want to use pre-emergent herbicides. Crabgrass germination occurs in mid to late spring here in PA, depending on soil temperatures, so you’ll want to apply your treatment shortly before germination occurs.

A good way to gauge when to apply your pre-emergent herbicide is when forsythia is in full bloom. If you wait too long, you’ll miss the germination period and the treatment will be ineffective, and if you apply too early you may miss the tail end of the germination period, as the product will break down too quickly.

You can find several different treatment options at your local lawn and garden center. A good one we recommend is Scott’s 4 Step Program or Greenview Fairway Formula Spring Fertilizer with Crabgrass Preventer.

Once crabgrass emerges, how can I eliminate it?

It’s much more difficult to control crabgrass once it emerges. You’ll need to apply several applications using an effective post-emergent herbicide. Early post-emergent applications can be applied by the homeowner, but if your crabgrass has already matured you’ll want to hire professionals like Hively to perform mature crabgrass herbicide treatments.

We hope we covered any questions you might have about controlling crabgrass, but if you have more, don’t hesitate to give us a call. If you’d prefer to let the experts handle it, or you’re already well behind in the battle and are now face to face with mature crabgrass, be sure to call us today at 717-292-5696 to get the help you need.